June 24 2016: Fireflies, Fritillaries, and Flowering Milkweed

June 24th 2016 : Fireflies, Fritillaries and Flowering Milkweed

Another delightful and enchanting and seemingly magical element has begun; the fireflies are back seeking their mates through light signals like dancing stars or Tinkerbells, just making me happy to be among them, to witness that they are still with us.

For those who say they don’t see fireflies anymore, turn off your outside night lights so the fireflies can see each other. If you can, take an evening’s stroll by a river or stream and be delighted.

There is a small stream at the back of our property, yet the fireflies dance all through the gardens. In the nearby town of Phoenicia, there is a stretch of quiet road next to the large Esopus creek. Every year I walk through a galaxy of twinkling lights, the air so filled with fluttering lights that I’m filled with awe.

The hundreds of milkweeds on our property are starting to flower; soon their sweet aroma will infuse the air with their intoxicating aroma. Not only do monarchs need milkweed to lay their eggs, but many species of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds nectar at its flowers.

Challenges: Oh Dear the Deer are Here

This year there are just more deer that have to be repelled from my gardens. My heart breaks when I take my early morning walk around all the gardens to see who needs what. It’s then I see not only what I have to do, but the damage the deer have done. They are eating things they never ate before, including sedums, little white and yellow begonias, butterfly impatience, black eyed susans and other rudbeckias, in addition to the monarda, echinacia, phlox, butterfly bush, elderberry leaves, branches, and flowers, hollyhocks, ladies’ mantle, coral bells, hydrangea and others. Oh my.

I’ve been making my concoction of egg, garlic, cayenne, peppermint oil and a dish of dish soap, but I last put it out a week ago. Since there are many more deer this year it seems, I need to spray that stuff around every few days. It’s exhausting.

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